Summary and book reviews of Families of Two by Laura Carroll

Families of Two

Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children By Choice

By Laura Carroll

Families of Two
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  • Hardcover: Oct 2000,
    204 pages.
    Paperback: Nov 2000,
    204 pages.

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Book Summary

Families of Two takes us into the lives of fifteen childfree couples and provides important answers to many of the questions faced by couples who are in the midst of deciding whether or not to have children, and those couples who have already made the decision to be 'childfree'.

Each of the couples interviewed answer specific questions about their 'childfree' decision; how they reached that decision; their happiness and the quality of their lives without children, and how they deal with the many questions and pressures they face on a daily basis with family and friends.

Although Laura Carroll and her husband of 12 years (they are also childfree) have their own understanding of this issue, they decided to inquire from others how they reached this important decision, and how they deal with the misconceptions and assumptions that childfree couples face. Laura has this to say about the writing of her book:

"My book is for all of us who have decided not to have children, and I hope that it will help family and friends to better understand why people make this choice. I want it to serve as a much needed tool for couples who are deciding whether or not to have children. Hopefully this book will clear the air on the many misconceptions about those who decide to be childfree. We are just as happy and fulfilled as families with children, and leave legacies in a myriad of ways other than parenthood."


Here are some of the questions given to these couples, and the topics they discussed:

  • How each of the couples arrived at their decision to be childfree

  • The notion of the 'biological urge' to have children

  • Others perceptions of them as a childless couple

  • Social misconceptions & assumptions about being childfree

  • How they see themselves as different - being childfree

  • How their backgrounds may have influenced their decision

  • Regrets they may have about being childfree

  • Positive aspects of NOT having children

  • The role children play or don't play in their lives

  • Myths about failing to carry on the family name

  • Advice they would give to other couples in reaching this decision

  • Their love story, their marriage and their childfree life together

  • Their friends and their social life

  • Their relationship with their pets - do pets replace children?

  • The purpose of their marriage

  • The challenges they have faced & how they handled them

  • Their thoughts about the ingredients to a successful marriage

  • The role they feel their decision will have on future generations

On our eleventh wedding anniversary, my husband and I found ourselves looking to the future. We loved each other, and were enjoying the life we had created together, but we asked ourselves: Will this be enough glue for a lifelong marriage?

We saw how parenthood became serious glue for couples we knew and how it deepened the purpose of their marriage, but unlike just about every couple we knew, we had decided not to have children. We knew very few couples like us, and didn't know any who had been married a long time and chosen not to parent. We wondered where we could find them to learn about road maps for lifelong marriage without children.

I looked for books on married couples who did not have children by choice. While I found many books on how to have a successful marriage, few if any, addressed the topic of marriage without parenthood. I found a number of books that focused on "childlessness" and being "childfree," but most of them focused only on women's ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Carol Dominy, BellaOnline.com

When author Laura Carroll began searching for books on childfree marriage, she found few that even mentioned married couples that chose not to be parents. That discovery inspired her to write Families of Two Interviews with Happily Married Couples without Children by Choice. Families of Two is an enjoyable and informative read for childfree couples, a must-have for couples that are currently deciding whether to have children, and an excellent gift for pushy friends and relatives. In this highly recommended book, 15 revealing interviews with happily married childfree couples provide a roadmap to long-term happiness in marriages without children..... Whether you have already decided not to have children, are still considering your options, or are trying to understand a loved one who has chosen marriage without parenthood, Families of Two provides valuable insight into childfree marriage. This book answers many questions about voluntarily childless marriage and leaves the reader with a deep appreciation of the value of marriage without children.

Cara Swann, Suite101.com

If you are married and childfree, you have probably been asked many times why you married if not intending to have children. If you've ever wished you had a ready answer, and could respond by citing examples of why childfree married couples are happy, then you should read Laura Carroll's excellent, well-researched book, Families of Two Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children By Choice. Not only does it present a wealth of thought-provoking material, the interviews with childfree married couples are extremely positive, uplifting and enlightening. Additionally, the unconventional, casual photographs of couples is a quality feature that enhances the overall content.

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